Nigeria’s Yellow-Greens Cricket Team Qualifies for S’final from Tough Group A

Nigeria’s Women’s Cricket team made a bold move for the podium at the on-going African Games in Ghana by picking one of the two Semi-final spots from Group A, despite a four-wicket loss to South Africa yesterday in Accra.

Captain of the team, Blessing Etim, said at the post match presentation that, all that mattered was the qualification to the next round of the event, after her team failed to defend the 74-run total they left in the first inning against the South African Women

“I must commend my teammates for the commitment they have put in here. I thank Lilian (Ude) for the five wickets she contributed in this game, it is one of the major things that has kept us in the games so far,” Etim said. 

Nigeria had earlier on Friday caused an upset at the Games when the ladies defeated Namibia, one of the highly rated female cricket teams on the continent, with a 55-run victory and momentarily topped the Group A. 

In the opening match, Nigeria had shared points with Tanzania in a rain-washed, inconclusive match on Thursday, which brought their tally to 3 points, before Sunday encounter.

The match against South Africa at the Achimota Senior Secondary School B Field in Accra, was highly anticipated, as it held the fate of not only Nigeria but also Tanzania, who needed more than a win over Namibia to make it to the semis. They also needed Nigeria to lose enough to wipe off their Net Run Rate, as their win will only tie them on points.

Nigeria’s 74-run total in 18.4 wasn’t commanding enough to sway South Africa, the best ranked team in the event, and resorted to relying on bowling prowess to limit the damage the Protea Women would have done to their NRR in defeat.

It was Seshnie Naidu that did most damage to the Yellow-Greens after taking four wickets (Esther Sandy, 6.3, Salome Sunday, 14.2, Sarah Etim, 16.3 and Lilian Ude, 16.5), but not without the batting brilliance of Faye Tinniclife who left 45 runs on the cards before being bowled by Usen Peace.

Nigeria lost but qualified ahead of Tanzania who also won their game against Namibia by 1 wicket.

President of the Nigeria Cricket Federation, Uyi Akpata, who arrived in Accra before the Sunday’s game, attributed the Yellow-Greens’ performance to hardwork and commitment.

“We are pleased to see the girls play to near their full potential. I can assure that more is still coming, but honestly all this validates the work and the vision of the current leadership of federation,” Akpata said.

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